Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that Alabama Pellets LLC, a subsidiary of Canada-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., plans to invest $95 million to construct a wood pellet production facility in Demopolis.
The Alabama Pellets facility is expected to have an annual production volume of 360,000 metric tons and will start initial industrial wood pellet production by mid-2021. The company has set an initial target of hiring at least 45 workers.
“We welcome the growth plans of Pinnacle and Alabama Pellets in our state,” Governor Ivey said. “My administration has made it a priority to develop rural Alabama and this manufacturing facility under construction in Demopolis will have a significant economic impact on Marengo County and create meaningful new opportunities for many citizens there.”
Pinnacle has signed an agreement with the State of Alabama that provides Alabama Pellets with incentives for job creation and investment under Alabama’s Job Act Incentives program.
Pinnacle holds a 70 percent stake in Alabama Pellets, with Tuscaloosa-based Westervelt Co. and Demopolis-based Two Rivers Lumber Co. LLC holding 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
“Pinnacle and Alabama Pellets have been part of the Alabama business landscape since October 2018 and are proud to be part of the economic growth of this community,” Pinnacle CEO Rob McCurdy said.
“Part of our commitment as a good corporate citizen in the communities where we operate is to think local, hire local, and use local vendors and contractors.”
Incentives for Alabama Pellets include a tax credit for job creation totaling $848,000 over 10 years, as well as an investment credit totaling $9.5 million, also spread over 10 years, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“The Alabama Job Act incentives supports our approach to doing business, and we are pleased to be part of the state’s ‘Made in Alabama’ program,” McCurdy said.
The incentives are offered to businesses that provide benefit to the state and its citizens through positive economic impacts in the community and tax revenue to the state. In order to receive the wage incentive, Alabama Pellets’ facility will target employing a minimum of 45 employees who earn an average hourly wage of $20.
“We’re committed to helping create jobs in our state’s rural areas through strategic economic development, and the plans by Pinnacle and Alabama Pellets to locate a facility in Demopolis is a positive development for Marengo County,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“Alabama Pellets is making a major investment in this plant, which will drive economic growth in the region and spark the creation of direct and indirect jobs.”
Vancouver-based Pinnacle is the world’s third largest manufacturer and distributor of industrial wood pellets, a sustainable fuel for renewable electricity generation. This fuel is used by large-scale thermal power generators as a greener alternative to produce reliable baseload renewable power.
The company operates eight industrial wood pellet production facilities in western Canada and one in Alabama, with two additional facilities under construction in Alberta and Alabama. It also owns a port terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Pinnacle has entered into long-term take-or-pay contracts with utilities in the U.K., Europe and Asia that represent an average of 99 percent of its production capacity through 2026.